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New fears for future of Red Gables haven’

PUBLISHED: 17:10 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 September 2010

FEARS that a Crouch End family centre could be shut have resurfaced with the transfer of some of its services to Tottenham. Red Gables, run by the charity NCH, is used by more than 500 families with vulnerable children

Charlotte Newton

FEARS that a Crouch End family centre could be shut have resurfaced with the transfer of some of its services to Tottenham.

Red Gables, run by the charity NCH, is used by more than 500 families with vulnerable children.

It provides a drop-in centre for children and young people who are caring for a member of their family.

The Crouch Hill service offers them a calm environment for them to do their homework and socialise.

Now administrative services for the organisation are being moved across the borough, sparking fears that the centre itself may also move.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: "We have £13,000 from NCH, the children's charity to refurbish the young people's homework room. But we've been told we can't touch it until we know what's happening.

"I'm just worried the young carers will lose the facility altogether."

Crouch End councillor Lyn Weber said: "I am shocked that a facility which provides some help and stability to young carers may be under threat.

"The vital caring function that these young people provide to their families needs to be recognised and moving a room that young people can use to do those things that they may otherwise miss out on is just not the answer.

"There needs to be clearer communication with all involved over the council's plans and I will continue to press for answers."

In 2005, Haringey Council announced plans to close Red Gables and replace it with between 13 and 18 children's centres on existing sites such as schools.

The council argued it needed to close it to help more deprived parts of the borough.

But later that year council bosses vowed that they would not close the centre after a Broadway-backed year-long campaign from parents, children and politicians.

Council leader George Meehan, who was the then spokesman for young people and children's services, said: "Clearly we recognise that people value services provided from Red Gables and that is why we felt the need to listen.

"I cannot ever say services will be provided from there forever but there are no plans to move services from the centre."

A spokesman for the council reiterated that message on Wednesday.

He said: "Although staff will be relocated to a centralised base at Pulford Road, most services for young carers, such as the youth club, will continue to be provided at or from Red Gables.

"NCH staff, who run the service, currently provide transport for users under the age of 12 and this service will continue."

broadway@hamhigh.co.uk


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